The International 2018 is almost upon us, with less than two days left until the group stage of the tournament begins. Spanning a total of ten days, not including the two-day break in between the group stage and main event, the event is one of the biggest annual esports events in the world and undeniably the one with the biggest prize pool (currently sitting at over $24 million).
The next week and a half are definitely going to be very exciting not just for fans of Dota 2 but also for esports fans all around. And with a total of eighteen teams fighting it out during the four-day group stage, we’ve rounded up some of the things you’ll need to know before the craziness begins.
A total of eighteen teams will be competing at TI8 which consists of eight invited teams and ten teams who got in through the qualifier tournaments around the world. The qualifier spots are composed of one sport for Europe, one for CIS, two for China, two for Southeast Asia, three for North America, and one for South America.
The eighteen teams participating in TI8 will be divided into two groups where they will play in a best-of-two round robin format. At the end of the group stage, the top four team from each group will advance to the upper bracket of the main event while the bottom team will be eliminated from the tournament. The remaining teams will move on to the lower bracket of the main event.
The group stage of TI8 will be held across four days, from August 16 to 19, 2018 (in GMT+8). Each day of the group stage will start at around 12:00 a.m. (GMT+8) and each set of matches will begin two hours and 30 minutes after the previous, with the last set starting at 10:00 a.m. (GMT+8) for the first three days and 05:00 a.m. (GMT+8) for the last day.
The first day of the group stage will have three sets of Group A matches and two sets of Group B matches. The second day will reverse that while the third day will go back to the format of the first day. The fourth and last day of the group stage will only see two sets of Group B matches and one set from Group A.
After the group stage, the main event will begin on August 21, 2018, and will run until August 26, 2018. At the time of writing, the prize pool of The International 2018 sits at over $24 million, with the grand prize and minimum prize (for the 17th and 18th place teams) currently standing at over $10 million and almost $60,000, respectively.